ALL NEWS

Knock on the door late at night was a professor’s Nobel co-winner notifying him of their win

Oct 13, 2020, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:02 am

    (CNN) — It was the middle of the night in California when the Nobel Committee tried to reach Paul Milgrom to tell him the good news: He had won the Nobel Prize in economics.

The committee calls the winners before announcing the names to the world each year. It’s always a decent hour in Stockholm — the middle of the day — but that means it is the middle of the night on the US West Coast.

But Milgrom couldn’t be reached, so his neighbor — and fellow prize winner — Robert Wilson stepped up and walked over to Milgrom’s house.

In a security camera video recording, Wilson is seen ringing Milgrom’s doorbell at 2:15 a.m. PT and knocking for several seconds. Finally, Milgrom responds.

“Paul, it’s Bob Wilson,” Wilson says. “You’ve won the Nobel Prize. And so they’re trying to reach you, but they cannot. They don’t seem to have a number for you.”

“We gave them your cell phone number,” Wilson’s wife, Mary, says.

A moment of silence follows.

“Yeah, I have? Wow,” Milgrom responds from the other side of the door.

“Will you answer your phone?” Wilson’s wife asks with a laugh.

Milgrom’s wife was in Stockholm. Because she received a notification from the doorbell security camera back home, she got to watch as Wilson relayed the good news, according to a tweet from Stanford University.

Milgrom and Wilson, both professors at Stanford University, received the prize for their work in auction theory.

The professors “used their insights to design new auction formats for goods and services that are difficult to sell in a traditional way, such as radio frequencies,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

“Their discoveries have benefited sellers, buyers and taxpayers around the world.”

It’s not the first time the call from Stockholm has been missed by an American winner.

In 2010, Martin Chalfie won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien, but he slept through the call.

“I woke up at ten after six, and I realised that they must have given the Prize in Chemistry, so I simply said, ‘Okay, who’s the schnook that got the prize this time?,” Chalfie said in a conversation with a Nobel.org representative that the Nobel Committee posted online. “And so I opened up my laptop, and I got to the Nobel Prize site and I found out I was the schnook!”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

The Air Force is set to unveil the newest stealth bomber aircraft on Dec. 2. Photo credit: Northrop...
Haley Britzky and Ellie Kaufman, CNN

Air Force unveils newest stealth bomber aircraft

The newest stealth bomber was unveiled on Friday in California.
1 day ago
Former astronaut and Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored Saturday with an art installation tribute ...
Mark Jones

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn to be honored with art tribute on Saturday

Former Utah Sen. Jake Garn will be honored with an art installation tribute Saturday at the Salt Lake City International Airport.
1 day ago
A west valley police car is pictured. Police are investigating a hit and run...
Mark Jones

Fire in West Valley City home contained to one room in basement

A fire inside a West Valley City home Friday was contained to one room in the basement, according to fire officials on scene.
1 day ago
Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Mark Jones

Staff member at school in southern Utah arrested for alleged sexual abuse

A 22-year-old staff member of a school in southern Utah was arrested Thursday by the Washington County Sheriff's Office for alleged sexual abuse.
1 day ago
President John F. Kennedy signs the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Cente...
Curt Gresseth

Is forcing the homeless into treatment the answer?

NYC Mayor Eric Adams has announced a program that involuntarily treats homeless people in "psychiatric crisis." A BYU psychologist weighs the New York approach against the ethics of patient autonomy.
1 day ago
NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Knock on the door late at night was a professor’s Nobel co-winner notifying him of their win